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Environment Ministry re-categorizes B category projects listed in EIA Notification schedule

December 30, 2013

Based on recommendations of the committee that was constituted in January 2013 under the chairmanship of Director – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, with the objective of re-categorizing ‘B’ category projects and activities into categories ‘B1’ and ‘B2’ under the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, the Ministry of Environment and Forests recently issued guidelines for categorization of such projects in the schedule of EIA Notification, 2006, and its amendments.

The EIA Notification, 2006, mandates prior Environmental Clearance for new projects or activities including expansion or modernization of existing projects listed in its schedule. The

‘A’ category projects require environment clearance from the Centre and the ‘B’ category projects from the concerned State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority.

The Notification prescribes that ‘B’ category projects be further categorized as ‘B1’ and ‘B2’ (except for township and area development projects). The MoEF is assigned the task of issuing appropriate guidelines from time to time for such projects. The projects categorized as B1 require EIA report for appraisal and also have to undergo public consultation process. The projects categorized as ‘B2’ are to be appraised based on the application accompanied with pre-feasibility report and other relevant documents.

The committee under the chairmanship of the Director – NEERI was constituted to comply with the requirement laid down in the Notification with regard to re-categorization of ‘B’ category projects. The committee has already submitted its report.

As per an office memorandum issued by the MoEF on December 24th, 2013, following examination of the committee’s recommendations, the projects of mining of minor minerals, till now categorized as ‘B’ category projects, have been categorized as ‘B2’. Mining projects of minor minerals with less than 50 ha of mining lease area were categorized as ‘B’. In June 2013, guidelines were issued for categorization of mining projects of brick earth and ordinary earth having lease area less than 5 ha as ‘B2’.

The office memorandum states that brick earth and ordinary earth mining projects having lease area less than 5 ha would be considered for grant of EC as per the guidelines issued in June 2013. In case of brick earth and ordinary earth mining projects with mining lease area > 5 ha but < 25 ha and all other minor mineral mining projects with mining lease area < 25 ha, except for river sand mining projects, appraisal would be done as ‘B2’ category projects. The appraisal would be on the basis of application, pre-feasibility report of the project and mining plan approved by the authorized agency of the concerned state. The office memorandum clarifies that where the mining lease area is likely to result in a cluster situation, meaning that if the periphery of one lease area measures less than 500 m from the periphery of another lease area and the total lease area equals or exceeds 25 ha, the activity would become ‘B1’ category project under the Notification. In such case, mining operations in any of the mine lease areas in the cluster would be allowed only if EC had been obtained in respect of the cluster. On river sand mining projects, the office memorandum states that mine lease area of less than 5 ha may be considered for grant of EC. The projects with mining lease area > 5 ha but < 25 ha would be categorized as ‘B2’. For appraisal of the projects and in order to be considered, in addition to presenting the required documents, several stipulations have to be met. Where the mining lease area is likely to result in a cluster situation, meaning that if the periphery of one lease area measures less than 1 km. from the periphery of another lease area and total lease area equals or exceeds 25 ha, the activity would be considered ‘B1’ category project under the Notification. In such case, mining operations in any of the mine lease areas in the cluster would be allowed only if the EC had been obtained in respect of the cluster.

The MoEF has also laid down guidelines for categorization of several other ‘B’ category projects and activities listed in the Notification schedule into categories ‘B1’ and ‘B2’. The projects and activities include thermal power plants, mineral beneficiation, metallurgical industries (ferrous and non-ferrous), cement plants, chlor alkali industry, leather/skin/hide processing industry, chemical fertilizers, manmade fibre manufacturing and aerial ropeways. All other category ‘B’ projects listed in the Notification schedule and its amendments would be considered as ‘B1’ category projects and appraised as per the procedure prescribed in the Notification.
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One Response to Environment Ministry re-categorizes B category projects listed in EIA Notification schedule

  1. Kartik Bapodara Reply

    April 30, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    In major cities all new housing society have sewage treatment plant but they are not in operating condition or treatment water do not meet norms.
    There should be a vigilance team who can visit the plant and if found illegal than penalty with disconnect the drain line still they get plant in good running condition.
    This will help to reduce river pollution.
    Society chair person are not aware of STP norms and they think this is builder liability or a part of a amenity

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